Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Ingolf Kühn one of the most frequently cited researchers in his field

Prof. Dr. Ingolf Kühn was put on the renowned list of "highly cited researchers" in June. Only scientists whose publications are very frequently cited make it onto this international list. Kühn`s research primarily looks at the biological invasion of foreign species and the effects of climate and land use change on ecosystem functions. His particularly successful articles are general overview articles on biostatistical methods or newly published datasets. Ingolf Kühn was jointly appointed professor of macroecology by MLU and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in March 2014.

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Der Akademische Senat der Martin-Luther-Universität  Halle-Wittenberg hat in seiner Sitzung am 8. Oktober den vom Rektorat vorgelegten  Hochschulentwicklungsplan zustimmend erörtert. Der Senat forderte zudem die  Landesregierung auf, die vom Bund zur Verfügung gestellten Mittel ab 2015 in die  Grundfinanzierung der Hochschulen zu geben.

Hochschulentwicklungsplan der MLU vom 08.10.2014
Beschluss des Senats vom 08.10.2014

Chemists discover spontaneous chirality in liquids

Until now, researchers have believed that the spontaneous separation of chiral molecules is only possible in a solid crystalline state. Chemists at MLU have now proven for the first time that this special type of separation can also be observed in liquids. Chiral molecules are molecules that, due to their mirror image form, cannot be brought into alignment. Louis Pasteur was the first to achieve separation in 1848 through crystallisation and manual sorting of the crystals under the microscope. The research findings of Prof. Dr. Carsten Tschierske`s team have been published in the online edition of the renowned journal "Nature Chemistry". They provide a possible new approach to explaining the origin of the uniform chirality of carbohydrates and amino acids that are each only present in nature in a mirror-image form. This uniformity is crucial for biological systems to function.

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A successful crossover

German studies professor Dr. Elisabeth Décultot (46) from France is one of the world`s most renowned Enlightenment researchers. Currently working in Paris, she will transfer to Halle in winter semester. This is being made possible by the Alexander von Humboldt professorship, Germany`s most highly endowed international research prize, and Décultot is the first literary scholar to receive it.

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Managed honeybees linked to new diseases in wild bees

Diseases that are common in managed honeybee colonies are now widespread in the UK’s wild bumblebees, according to research published in Nature. The study suggests that some diseases are being driven into wild bumblebee populations directly from managed honeybees. Scientists from Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Exeter, working in collaboration with Professor Robert Paxton at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, say the research provides vital information for beekeepers across the world to ensure honeybee management supports wild bee populations.

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Publication in “Nature”: a new class of quasicrystals has been discovered

Scientists at Martin Luther University have caused a sensation: physicist Prof. Dr. Wolf Widdra and his research team were able to prove that it is possible to form a quasicrystal from oxides. Previously such structures were only found in a few metal alloys and very soft colloidal systems. The materials, developed on this basis, have unusual and highly interesting properties from a technological point of view. The discovery considerably widens these new materials’ field of application. The scientists’ findings were published in the October issue of the renowned journal “Nature”.

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Over one million euros in EU funding for nano-researcher Georg Woltersdorf

Dr. Georg Woltersdorf has accepted an appointment at Martin Luther University. The renowned young physicist took over the Chair for Experimental Physics, Optics and Time-resolved Spectroscopy on 1 October thereby transferring to MLU his project “Electric Control of Magnetization Dynamics”, which studies the properties of nanomagnets. The project is being funded by the European Research Council’s ERC Starting Grant of €1.5 million euros over five years. The nanostructures Woltersdorf is studying could be used in new data storage methods.

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Embryos: The animal-like secret of plants - Halle researchers are published in "Nature"

One thing is true for both embryos of vertebrates and humans: there is hardly any difference between them during a specific development phase. Beforehand and afterwards there are major differences between the species. This is referred to as the hourglass principle in embryonic development. Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have also discovered that this principle applies to plants as well. It is a mutual molecular phenomenon and this discovery will contribute to the understanding of the origin of biodiversity. The research findings of these scientists from Halle have been published in the renowned magazine “Nature”.

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